Avignon

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Avignon

Vue aérienne 2 JP Campomar.jpg
Aerial view of Avignon
Coat of arms of Avignon
Coat of arms
Avignon is located in France
Avignon
Administration
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Department Vaucluse
Arrondissement Avignon
Canton Chief town of 3 cantons
Intercommunality Grand Avignon (Coga)
Mayor Cécile Helle
(2014-2020)
Statistics
Elevation 10–122 m (33–400 ft)
(avg. 66 m/217 ft)
Land area1 64.78 km2 (25.01 sq mi)
Population2 92,209  (2014)
 - Density 1,423 /km2 (3,690 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 84007/ 84000
Website www.avignon.fr
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Coordinates: 43°57′N 4°49′E / 43.95°N 4.81°E / 43.95; 4.81

Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge *
Palais des papes
Country France
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv
Reference 228
Region ** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1995 (19th Session)

Avignon (Latin: Avenio; Occitan: Avinhon) is a commune in southeastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river. It is the capital (prefecture) of the Vaucluse department.

The historical centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the cathedral, and the Pont d'Avignon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The medieval monuments and the annual Festival d'Avignon have helped to make the town a major centre for tourism

Name[change | change source]

The earliest forms of the name were reported by the Greeks:

  • Аὐενιὼν = Auenion
  • Άουεννίων = Aouennion (Ptolemy II, x).

The Roman name Avennĭo Cavarum (Mela, II, 575, Pliny III, 36), i.e. "Avignon of Cavares" shows that Avignon was one of the three cities of the tribe of Cavares, along with Cavaillon and Orange.

History[change | change source]

Between 1309 and 1377, during the Avignon Papacy, seven successive popes lived in Avignon and in 1348 Pope Clement VI bought the town from Joanna I (Italian: Giovanna I; March 1328 – 27 July 1382) was Queen of Naples and Countess of Provence.

Papal control persisted until 1791 when, during the French Revolution, it became part of France.

Geography[change | change source]

Avignon is on the left bank of the Rhône river, a few kilometres above its confluence with the Durance, about 580 km (360 mi) southeast of Paris, 229 km (142 mi) south of Lyon and 85 km (53 mi) northwest of Marseille.

It has an area of 64.78 km2 (25.01 sq mi) and its average altitude is 66 m (217 ft); at the city hall, the altitude is 19 m (62 ft).[1]

Avignon and its neighboring communes
Map of the commune of Avignon

On the west Avignon shares a border with the department of Gard and to the south it borders the department of Bouches-du-Rhône.

Avignon is surrounded by the communes Sorgues, Le Pontet, Vedène, Morières-lès-Avignon and Caumont-sur-Durance and the departments Bouches-du-Rhône (communes of Noves, Châteaurenard, Rognonas and Barbentane) and Gard (communes of Les Angles and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon).

The Rhône, the Durance (tributary of the Rhône]] and the L'Anguillon (tributary of the Durance) are the rivers flow through the commune.

The Rhône passes the western edge of the city but is divided into two branches: the Petit Rhône for the part that passes next to Avignon, and the Grand Rhône for the western channel which passes Villeneuve-lès-Avignon in the Gard department. The two branches are separated by an island, the Île de la Barthelasse.

The Durance flows along the southern boundary of the commune into the Rhône and marks the departmental boundary with Bouches-du-Rhône.

Climate[change | change source]

The climate of Avignon, in the Köppen climate classification, is Csa - Oceanic climate with hot summers.[2]

The average temperature for the year in Avignon is 14.4 °C (57.9 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 23.3 °C (73.9 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 5 °C (41 °F).

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Avignon is 617.2 mm (24.3 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is October with 83.8 mm (3.3 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is January with an average of 22.9 mm (0.9 in).[3]

Climate data for Avignon, France
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9
(48)
11
(52)
15
(59)
19
(66)
23
(73)
27
(81)
30
(86)
30
(86)
25
(77)
20
(68)
13
(55)
10
(50)
19.3
(66.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 5
(41)
6
(43)
10
(50)
13
(55)
16
(61)
20
(68)
23
(73)
22
(72)
19
(66)
14
(57)
9
(48)
6
(43)
13.6
(56.5)
Average low °C (°F) 1
(34)
2
(36)
5
(41)
7
(45)
10
(50)
14
(57)
16
(61)
15
(59)
13
(55)
9
(48)
5
(41)
2
(36)
8.3
(46.9)
Rainfall mm (inches) 20
(0.79)
30
(1.18)
40
(1.57)
50
(1.97)
60
(2.36)
40
(1.57)
30
(1.18)
40
(1.57)
60
(2.36)
80
(3.15)
70
(2.76)
50
(1.97)
570
(22.44)
Source: Weatherbase.com [1]

Population[change | change source]

The inhabitants of Avignon are known, in French, as Avignonnais (women: Avignonnaises).[4]

With a population of 92,209,[5] Avignon has a population density of 1,423 inhabitants/km2.

Evolution of the population in Avignon

Administration[change | change source]

Avignon is the prefecture of the Vaucluse department since 1793. It is also the capital of the arrondissement of Avignon and the administrative centre (French: chef-lieu) of three cantons, all formed with part of the commune:

  1. Avignon-1 : 30,134 inhabitants (2014)
  2. Avignon-2 : 34,426 inhabitants (2014)
  3. Avignon-3 : 35,749 inhabitants (27,649 in Avignon and 8,100 in Morières-lès-Avignon) (2014)

It is part of the intercommunality Grand Avignon (French: Communauté d'agglomération du Grand Avignon).

Sister cities[change | change source]

Avignon is twinned with:

Places of interest[change | change source]

Some interesting places in Avignon are:

  • The Notre Dame des Doms cathedral (12th century).
  • The Palais des Papes ("Papal Palace") (14th century).
  • The Pont d'Avignon (the Pont Saint-Bénézet), a bridge best known for the famous French song Sur le pont d'Avignon.

Gallery[change | change source]

View over the Rhône looking northeast, with the Pont Saint-Bénézet or "Pont d'Avignon" at left

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Avignon". Map-France.com. http://www.map-france.com/Avignon-84000/. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  2. "La ville d'Avignon" (in French). Annuaire-Mairie.fr. http://www.annuaire-mairie.fr/ville-avignon.html. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  3. "Avignon, France - Köppen Climate Classification". Weatherbase. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather-summary.php3?s=164541&cityname=Avignon%2C+Provence-Alpes-Cote+d%27Azur%2C+France&units=. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  4. "Vaucluse" (in French). habitants.fr. http://www.habitants.fr/vaucluse-84. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  5. "Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (in French) (PDF). Populations légales 2014. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. http://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/fichier/2525755/dep84.pdf. Retrieved 10 February 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]